Papers in Regional Science

, Volume 80, Issue 2, pp 121–137 | Cite as

Target search of burglars: A revised economic model

  • Simon Hakim
  • George F. Rengert
  • Yochanan Shachmurove


This article investigates home attributes that attract residential burglars in choosing a target. These attributes are the location of the home, its physical appearance, demographic characteristics of the residents, and the security precautions present. The theoretical foundation of the empirical model is the criminal utility maximization behavior that considers costs and benefits as formulated by Becker. However, this article introduces to the model the spatial dimension of the burglar's search for a target. The incidence of burglary is the dependent variable and is measured in a dichotomy scale. The empirical analysis utilizes a survey database of burgled and non-burgled homes that was conducted by the researchers. A logit model is used for the investigation, and the effects of the explanatory variables are calculated as probabilities. The database is unique in the wealth of attributes of individual homes that are relevant to burglars' decision process.

JEL classification: K42, R12, A14, C13, C25, C93 
Key words: Residential burglary, utility maximization, rational choice, logit model 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Copyright information

© Regional Science Association International (RSAI) Urbana, USA 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Simon Hakim
    • 1
  • George F. Rengert
    • 2
  • Yochanan Shachmurove
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Economics, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA 19122, USA (e-mail: US
  2. 2.Department of Criminal Justice, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA 19127, USA (e-mail: US
  3. 3.Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA (e-mail: US

Personalised recommendations